Wife lifting to burn fat - protein or not?

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Han
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Wife lifting to burn fat - protein or not?

Post by Han » Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:11 am

Hi guys,

I've recently managed to convince my wife that hour long cardio classes (in isolation) may not be the best way to burn fat. She's now going to do two full body workouts a week with me, and two cardio classes (still can't convince her to do HIIT with me though).

My question - where do people stand on protein shakes when lifting to burn fat? Is she better off omitting the protein to minimise calories, or taking them to stimulate muscle growth (and hence calorie burning capacity)?

If pro-shakes ... how much? The usual 1g/lb body mass per day? Or maybe less?

Interested to hear opinions ...

Han


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Post by jeffrerr » Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:40 am

I've been researching this and trying to find a balance for myself at the moment! I would say, IMO, your better off to use the Protein Shakes as part of a post workout meal with some simple carbs from fruit. Increasing percentages of protein is a good idea too, rather than rely on the 1g/1lb of body weight, work out the amount of calories your wife needs to get an average of a 500 calorie deficit (what is approximately needed to a 1lb per week loss of fat) each day then work out how many grams of Carbs, Protein & Fats add up to that total in the right percentages. For example most on-liine sources I've seen recommend a 40% Protein, 30% Carbs, 30% Fats for good weightloss while still fueling for muscle building or sometimes 33% across the board. If your wife needs 2000 calories for a day then 1500 calories would give her the 500 calorie defecit. 1500 calories in a 40/30/30 is 150g Protein, 112.5g Carbs and 50g Fats or in a 33% it's 124g of Protein and Carbs and 55g of fats.

Also remember though that she should consume a few hundred calories more than normal on a work out day, even if she has reached her total. On a normal day she may need 1500 calories to get the 500 calorie deficit, but on a work out day she will need 1500 claories plus the amount of calories expended by exercise to get the 500 calorie deficit.

P.S. Substitute your wife's ACTUAL calorie needs in where I've stated 1500 calories.

P.P.S. If you want her to have the ability to put all this into an easy to read calorie counting database try www.calorieking.com.au, it's Australian so you'll need to do your own custom foods off of nutritional panels but it's free, the amercian version is $55 per year! You can put in targets for Protein, Carbs and Fat, an overall daily calorie goal and you can add in exercise you've done which is taken off your daily total!

Han
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Post by Han » Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:33 am

Some good research there, thanks Jeffrerr. I actually used to use CalorieKing.com.au (am Australian) when I was losing weight. It worked quite well.

Might be a battle trying to get my wife to put that much effort in to analysing her diet though ... we "eat healthy" but don't get that analytical. Also she's only really trying to lose around 2 kgs so she's not that hung up on it.

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Post by hoosegow » Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:51 am

What is your wife's goals? And don't say to get toned. If her major goal is to lose weight, then don't supplement. That is just more calories to burn.

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Post by jeffrerr » Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:53 am

In that case, just increase her protein a bit and the carbs will come down on their own by switching up ingredients in your meals!

But a 500 cal deficit should get rid of 2kg over the next month or two in a 'fitter' person! The protein shakes are a good idea for weights days still as she will burn a lot more calories from lifting for an hour then cardio for an hour due to the after effects of the workout. Plus once she gets used to the extra protein her bodies 'craving' of carbs will lessen!

The best ways I've found to decrease a few carbs is to either limit bread or buy loaves that have smaller slices but put the same amount of fillings in sandwiches, swap pasta/rice for potato (still carbs but slower burning, better GI and therefore more filling), swap breakfast cereal with milk for fruit with plain yoghurt (not flavoured fruit yoghurt as they tend to have more sugar, lerned that with low fat vanilla!), artificial sweetners in coffe/tea instead of sugar and salads for lunch instead of sandwiches, just add extra amounts to the salads you will fill a sandwich with and throw it in a container with whatever meat filling you like (I prefer chicken or tuna) and bam, a high protein low carb lunch!

For me eating 2000 cals is more of a 1500 calorie drop from what I was eating previously, I was 140kg 2 years ago, I'm now 120kg with a long way to go, I was as low as 112kg but let the diet slip since i moved to the UK last Novemeber! Just getting back on CK in the last fortnight trying to get back in shape before heading back to Tassie!

Hope it all goes well mate!

Cheers,

John

P.S. make sure to take her vital measurements, bust, chest, waist, hips, thighs, calves and upper arms and forearms so that if the weight doesn't come of after the first 2 months of lifiting you can check to see if there's been a shift in body composition to rationalise the lack of weight loss!


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Post by jeffrerr » Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:02 am

Hoosegow,

with weightloss it can be hard sometimes to get adequate protein in your diet without a shake or two here and there! Often the foods we accompany meat with add carbs and it can be hard to get your head around eating just 'meat' a a meal if you're not serious about it!

Han,

I forgot to mention, go for a Whey Protein or a Whey Protein Isolate, not a Weight Gainer/Mass Builder. A good one for Carb, Protein, Fat balance is Aussie Bodies Perfect Protein, it's 90%+ protein and mixes really, really well! I think it ranges from $44 for 900g to $220 for 5kg on their website, but can be found on sale at 'health' shops for les than $30 for 900g!

Cheers,

John

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Post by KPj » Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:43 am

Yeah - a calorie isn't just a calorie.

I'm helping my sister lose weight. I like to keep my advice as simple as possible (well - i'm trying very hard to simplify it, since I normally overwhelm people!), hence, this is all i've really said - eat protein with every meal. Whether she gets that from chicken, turkey, or Whey Powder is irrelevant. Get all carbs from Veg. If you want any other carb (oats, potatoes etc), then earn them with intense exercise, and have them with a post work out meal.

I showed her how to prepare stuff in advance, gave her a lot of stir fry recipes, omellete and scrambled egg recipes - tuna burgers and things like that - Convenient, and easy to make stuff. I told her to eat as close to every 3 hours as she could.

She then reported feeling like crap. I asked her to tell me what she had been eating. She was following my advice, but only 3 meals per day. Lucky if she was getting 1000 calories per day - no wonder she felt like crap.

In an attempt to keep it as simple as possible, I just got her to add more veg to her meals (told her double it), and have one extra meal per day. So 4 meals per day with bigger portions. I reckon she's at around 1500 per day now, at the most (probably 1200-1500). I've also told her to increase her fat intake - fish oil caps, using flaxheed in some meals etc.

The more experience I get putting other people on this 'lifestyle', the more I start to think that it would be extremely difficult to eat too much. I'm almost tempted to challenge my sis to try and eat too much, but still following the guidelines. She struggles to get over 300 calories per meal - she feels full before that - and that's largely because she's eating more protein and also because you need A LOT of veggies to get too many calories from them.

Interestingly, a Big Mac has about 400-450 calories in it? And my sis could polish that off with large fries and and milk shake, which isn't that far off what she's been getting with 4 bigger meals now.

KPj

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Post by jeffrerr » Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:07 am

KPj,

I'm just re-learning all that stuff now! I 'conveniently' forgot it all for a fat inducing 8 years, then remember for a year and then it was gone again! :roll: So now I'm getting back to it I find that helping others is helping me too! I also foudn yuor theory is right, I could eat a large 1/4 pounder meal and then grab a McFlurry on the way out the door, disgusting I know! Lately I've been bringing a tub about the size of a regular lunch box full of letttuce, red, green and yellow capsicum (sweet peppers), raw carrot, tomato and a couple of thick slices of cheese diced down to the size of two tic tacs and about 100g to 150g of chicken breast or tuna and a couple o f tablespoons of Honey Mustard dressing and I'm SO full after it, I love it! Also scrapped cereal at breakfast for a sandwich with 80g of chicken breast in it! Finding it heaps easier to get protein in my diet! Finding it hard to keep up the fats at times, but Nutella takes care of that! lol

Han,

As you wife only want to lose 2kg or so maybe throwing in a couple of HIIT like activities into her cardio may help also! If she jogs on a treadmill for 60 minutes maybe a 20 - 30 minute HIIT type hill climb setting could be used 1 or 2 sessions a week? Just a tought in case the weights don't take! I hope they do though, but it's always good to have a Plan B and C lined up!

John

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Post by jeffrerr » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:30 am

KPj wrote:Yeah - a calorie isn't just a calorie.
I agree and disagree with this one!

I think for the 5' 6" 300 pound guy eating 5000 calories a day sitting at the computer playing World of Warcraft because mummy pays the bills, a calorie is just a calorie, if he dropped it to 2500 and walked for 30 minutes a day he's gonna drop pounds wherever and whatever the 2500 calories come from!

But once your fit and reasonably lean, like Hans wife, and want to get that last stubborn 2 or 3 kg then I agree with you, a calorie isn't just a calorie anymore! You need to take an in depth look at where your calories are coming from and what micronutrients said calories break down into for the particular goal you have in mind, be it fat loss, muscle building or a combo of both!

For the average slob (me!) just limiting what you put in your mouth will work wonders to start off with, but it gets harder and harder the closer you get to your goal! I mean I sat down and wrote out what I was consuming on an average day in early September and it was something like 3500 calories a day! I've cut down to 2000-ish a say since Sunday the 14th of September and already dropped 3kg as of Sunday the 28th of September, but I garuntee the most I can lose from here on in will 1kg a week if I really try! But I bet I could put on 1kg in a day if I went the other way! :roll:

John

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Post by hoosegow » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:52 am

To clarify...

I was thinking of more of the muscle/strength building aspect vs. the weight loss aspect. If her only goal is to lose weight then don't add the extra calories. You can substitute a protein shake for other foods. In my opinion the added muscle gains and thus increased metabolism won't negate the extra calories.

If she wants to get stronger and have bigger muscles, then she might want to add protein to stimulate muscle growth.

So, her actual goal is important. If she is obese and wants to lose weight, I'd recommend not adding the extra calories. If she is in decent shape and wants better curves, mmm curves, add some protein.

In my opinion, if she is in decent shape and not obese, then add the protein and reduce the carbs and sugars. Basically remaining calorie nutral.

KPj
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Post by KPj » Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:01 pm

jeffrerr wrote:
KPj wrote:Yeah - a calorie isn't just a calorie.
I agree and disagree with this one!

I think for the 5' 6" 300 pound guy eating 5000 calories a day sitting at the computer playing World of Warcraft because mummy pays the bills, a calorie is just a calorie, if he dropped it to 2500 and walked for 30 minutes a day he's gonna drop pounds wherever and whatever the 2500 calories come from!
I sort of agree with some of this. I agree that if you eat less calories than you burn, regardless of the source of calories, then you'll lose 'weight'...for a while. Most people don't want to lose 'weight', they want to lose fat - they just don't know it!

But if you take the computer guy eating 5000 calories. I guarantee he's getting them from a huge volume of simple processed carbs, and crappy fats. And probably hardly any protein. I mean, a large McD's with large fries and milkshake is about 1500 calories! It would take about 4 meals of protein and veg to get that!

My point was - Get him to eat nothing but protein and veg, and I guarantee he'll struggle to hit 2000 per day. In that sense, calories differ hugely. And that's not even getting into the need to control insulin in the typical simple carb addict. Veggies have a low insulin response. Comparing calories from veggies and things like white bread or even rice shows huge differences. Not just in the hormonal activities that take place, but from the general feeling of well being to the quality of you're skin. And you could also compare nutrients like vitamins and mineral in both.

Carbs are a huge problem. We live in a nation of carb addicts. People are scared of protein.

BUT - I see where you're coming from. I know you're aware of the differences, and I think you're really referring to getting someone started on a path to losing weight. And this is probably where our opinions differ. Mine has changed A LOT in the last 6 months or so. I used to say to people, "start off by just cutting the crap".

But now, I feel they need to accept that it's a lifestyle change. The way they are LIVING is making them fat. When I say the whole "protein and veg" talk, I get looks of confusion. Just getting protein with every meal, never mind the veg is a big challenge when you're not used to it. So, I don't even mention calories. I just show them what to do. With friends or family members, they just need to look at my fridge and cupboards, and they go "ah... riiight". I exagerrate a littel by saying I can make a veggis and protein rich meal during the break in a film (I practically can). THAT'S how easy it is, once you're into the swing of things.

But people don't know where to start, what to buy, what not to buy, what to cook, how to cook it, how to prepare it, where to shop and HOW to shop i.e. there's about THREE isles you're interested in when in a supermarket. Meat, Veg, and herbs and spices section. Oh, dairy - milk and eggs. The rest is just there to make us all fat!

So that's my approach now. In a way, you could say I show them how to live. A lot of these problems stem from childhood, ya know. Whenever my nephew does something good, he gets sweets or chocolate. Eats his veggies? Yip, sweets and chocolate. Why do children think that's a reward? Because parents think and act like it is! Why does it feel strange to eat veggies or meat in the morning? Yip, our parents, as much as they love us, well, they were dumb enough to fall for all those commercials and feed us dry sugary crap cereal...

We're programmed to be unhealthy. We need to reprogram our thoughts, our habbits, our routines, our tastes. it's just a case of knowing how, and actually wanting it bad enough.


KPj

ps Nice speach, eh? I've got a tear in my eye from the passion I exerted whilst typing this.

pps Time for some meat and veg (seriously, it is)

ppps FYI - Asda are doing 3 trays of chicken (4-5 breasts per tray) for [1 million dollars].

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Post by jeffrerr » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:48 pm

KPj,

I think overall we are on the same page! However I am re-learning a lot from the forum so I can't say that it's always been in my conscious thought, sub concious yes, concious no! I'm also finding that whipping up a salad, just in the last 2 weeks, has gone from taking 15 mintes to about 5 to 10 minutes, just cause I'm more confident of what I want to put in it and getting back into chopping instead of twisting the lif off a jar!

And yeah your passion came through well a clear, and made a LOT of sense to me wiht my current train of thought!

HOWEVER I am off in the morning to over indulge in the consumption of empty alcohol carbs and liver destruction! It's my once in a life time chance to take in Oktoberfest so I'm gonna take in the experience and work my ass off next week!

John

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Post by Ironman » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:04 am

don't forget about the thermal effect of protein and how filling protein and fat are. Increasing the amount of energy you use is vital.

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Post by Helena115 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:59 am

This is a really interesting discussion. I'm struggling with the protein-veggie meals myself, not so much with the protein part though! I get stuck on the veggies. I get tired of the same spinach-bell pepper-tomato-cucumber-mushroom-deal every day.

I agree carbs are a huge problem in the western cultures. Not only are we all sugar addicts to some extent, but the fact that "real" food, healthy food, is much more expensive than breads, cereals and the like is also a major factor I think. Compare the price of a plain cheeseburger at McD with a big salad and a chicken breast. At least here in Sweden there's a major difference. Look at all the poor students who live off of ramen noodels or plain spaghetti.


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